First edition of the Morocco-EU Business Dialogue

This high-level meeting represents the shared desire of Moroccan and European economic operators to support political actors in building Morocco-EU relations and to discuss ways to make it economic and commercially stronger, more resistant and carries much more value and growth, informing in a press release.

In his opening remarks at this meeting, Valdis Dombrovskis underlined that “vsthe first EU-Morocco business dialogue is an important step. The EU and Morocco now have strong and harmonious trade and economic relations: total bilateral trade in goods will reach over € 43 billion by 2021, the highest level ever, and we have a stable exchange of services. However, we still have a lot to do, especially to support the green and digital transition of our economies..

He added that “theEU businesses and investors recognize Morocco’s potential. They are eager to strengthen their relationship, which is underpinned by strong legal and business frameworks. Today’s Business Dialogue will facilitate this important discussion. From the EU’s perspective, we are ready to discuss how to modernize the free trade area, focusing specifically on how we can facilitate more and more sustainable foreign direct investment.

The President of CGEM, for his part, insistedthe need to modernize the Morocco-EU Association Agreement, which originated in 2000, so that it can take into account the advances made by Morocco under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God help him, new economic realities, especially those generated by the Covid-19 pandemic and by tensions in Eastern Europe such as rising prices of raw materials and freight ”.

He also stressed the central role that the Moroccan and European private sectors can play in strengthening the Morocco-EU partnership and continuing to build a shared, stable and stable neighborhood. C. Alj then focused on the strategic priorities of Moroccan and European business leaders, especially better access to markets, green transition, the stability of value chains and the development of the Euro -African, before insisting on the urgency of joint action.

Pierre Gattaz, for his part, highlighted “ang the association agreement between the EU and Morocco needs to be adapted to the commercial realities of the 21st century and to the needs of businesses in important areas such as the digital economy. In the current context of growing geopolitical risks, it is important for Europe to diversify its markets and Morocco is a natural partner ”.

This Morocco-EU Business Dialogue was marked by a panel discussion attended by Badr Alioua, President of the International Commission of CGEM, Abir Lemseffer, Principal Coordinator of CGEM Relations with European Institutions and Deputy Managing Director of Azura, Hakim Marrakchi, Chairman and Managing Director of Maghreb Industrie, Mia Lahlou Giancarli, Managing Director of Pharma 5, Edwin Sluismans, Vice-President ofEuroCham Morocco, of Khalodoun Bouacida, Managing Director and Head of the North and West Africa region of BASF Morocco and of Basin Bennani, Chief Marketing officer Nokia North and West Africa.

The exchanges made it possible to identify some of the challenges faced by economic operators in the context of investment and trade between Morocco and the EU. The private sector has clearly expressed their desire not only to protect Morocco-EU trade relations but also to update it. As well as discussions covered the opportunities available, especially in terms of innovation, digital technology and sustainability.

As a reminder, CGEM and BusinessEurope has adopted, in September, an agreement on the modernization of trade and investment between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union based on 8 pillars: investment, the agreement on the reduction of non -tariff barriers for the inclusion of an agreement on mutual recognition for regulations and standards, services and transportation, professional qualifications, customs matters, VSMEs, the business climate and food safety.

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